Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rihanna: Stay (Live on SNL)





Far too many recording artists fail to deliver the goods when singing live; Rihanna is not one of them, as evidenced when she performed "Stay" on Saturday Night Live hosted by Anne Hathaway November 10.

The gorgeous ballad is from her November 19 full-length release 'Unapologetic', but this excellent live arrangement beats the album version: stripped down, slowed down, with Rihanna's vocals up front, not buried in the mix, it allows her to truly showcase her stunning voice.

The 'Diamonds' North America/UK/continental Europe tour kicks off March 8 in Buffalo, NY and wraps July 26 in Bergen, Norway.

Now if only she would permanently sever all ties with her abusive on-off boyfriend and focus on what she does best: singing.


http://www.rihannanow.com/live/




Tuesday, November 27, 2012

R.I.P. Jonas Thomsen Sekyere Dec. 11, 1990 - Nov. 17, 2012





It's been ten days since the murder of 21-year-old Jonas Thomsen Sekyere inside a Copenhagen, Denmark nightclub. His alleged killer is a fugitive at this point.

[Read my November 17 post: http://latenightdj.blogspot.com/2012/11/trentemller-miss-you-posted-in-honor-of.html].

The funeral service will be held Wednesday November 28 at noon local time at Copenhagen's cathedral 'Vor Frue Kirke' in the city's historic Latin Quarter where Jonas spent much of his time:  he was in law school at the University at the time of his death and a resident at the prestigious dormitory 'Regensen.'   The public has been invited by the family to accompany the hearse to Jonas' final resting place a mile away at the 'Assistens' cemetery where world famous Danes Hans Christian Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard are buried. (Andersen's and Kierkegaard's funeral services were also held at 'Vor Frue Kirke', in 1875 and 1855, respectively.)

At age seven Jonas became a member of the renowned Copenhagen Boys Choir which often performs at the church where his funeral will be.  The first video is a performance by the CBC, performing at 'Vor Frue Kirke' alongside a male choir; the piece is by Rachmaninoff.

The second video is the popular South London boys choir Libera performing "Time".


______________________________________________________


Denmark's Television have produced an excellent half-hour documentary on Jonas' life and legacy, entitled 'Hvorfor Lige Jonas?' [translation: Why Jonas?] which, due to extensive use of private video footage, I am certain will move anyone watching it, even those who do not understand Danish.

http://www.dr.dk/tv/se/hvorfor-lige-jonas/hvorfor-lige-jonas#!/

A PERSONAL NOTE: on my annual summer visit to my original hometown of Copenhagen in July of 2013 I visited Jonas' grave and left a single black velvet like flower from my parents' garden. My cousin who lives a stone's throw from the Assistens cemetery accompanied me and we spoke of Jonas and spent some time looking at the photos, poems, flowers and other gifts left by family, friends and people like myself who did not personally know this remarkable young man, but wish to pay tribute to him.

MURDER CASE UPDATE 2016
Below is a link to an article in the (Copenhagen) University Post:

http://universitypost.dk/article/killer-jonas-sekyere-convicted-somalia







Saturday, November 17, 2012

Trentemøller: Miss You + marstal:lidell: I Mit Hjerte Er En Rytme (Posted in Honor of Jonas Thomsen Sekyere)





I've been a Southern California resident for a long time, but being a native Dane I naturally like to keep up with Danish news on a daily basis via the Internet.  Today I was deeply affected when I learned that 21-year-old Jonas Thomsen Sekyere had died at the trauma center at Copenhagen's main hospital on Saturday morning at 6:13 am local time [Friday 9:13 pm California time], less than two hours after he was stabbed in the chest inside a popular Vesterbro borough nightclub.  His killer is still at large.

I didn't know Jonas personally, but upon seeing his photo online I immediately recalled his moving article published last year in Denmark's largest daily paper Politiken, a piece which earned him much praise and respect.  It was a humble thank-you to the system that took him under its wing and gave him a chance that he might otherwise not have had.

The son of a Ghanaian father and a Danish mother, Jonas was born in Denmark, was raised first by his mother in Copenhagen, then by foster parents in Vordingborg from the age of ten through eighteen, excelled in school, was in law school at the University of Copenhagen at the time of his death, volunteered at an orphanage in Ghana in the summer, wrote freelance articles and opinion pieces, and founded several Danish info websites for students.

Clearly an unusually accomplished and intelligent young man, he was also blessed with great physical beauty.  However, what ultimately struck me the most as I watched him speak was his passion for life, excitement about the future, and his utter lack of arrogance or cynicism. 

I am posting this blog entry to honor Jonas who will be remembered long after the coward who snuffed out his brief but extraordinary life.

NOTE 1:  On Saturday I watched a series of webisodes that Jonas shot for the University of Copenhagen about his life as a student over the course of five months in late 2010-early 2011.  The videos were removed from the web on Monday out of consideration for his family and friends.

NOTE 2: A kind person has set up a Facebook page in memory of Jonas.

https://www.facebook.com/ripjonasthomsen

NOTE 3: Non-Danish speakers who wish to read Jonas' opinion piece published in Politiken last year can click the "Translate" button in the top right corner of the page of the Politiken.dk site (computer generated translations unfortunately contain several errors, but are better than nothing.)

http://politiken.dk/debat/ECE1323284/jeg-skylder-den-danske-velfaerdsmodel-alt/


Danish multi-instrumentalist/producer/DJ Anders Trentemøller's 'Miss You' never fails to move me; it seems a fitting track to post, and goes out to everyone, but especially to Jonas' family and friends in Denmark as well as outside Denmark.

_________________________________________________________


Denmark's Television have produced an excellent half-hour documentary on Jonas' life and legacy, entitled 'Hvorfor Lige Jonas?' [translation: Why Jonas?] which, due to extensive use of private video footage, I am certain will move anyone watching it, even those who do not understand Danish.

http://www.dr.dk/tv/se/hvorfor-lige-jonas/hvorfor-lige-jonas#!/

The second video is a tribute song to Jonas by Danish duo marstal:lidell: Henrik Marstal and Anne Liddell; the latter was a friend of Jonas; they lived at the same Copenhagen dormitory, Regensen. The title translates to "In My Heart Is a Rhythm/Beat."


A PERSONAL NOTE: on my annual summer visit to my original hometown of Copenhagen in July of 2013 I visited Jonas' grave and left a single black velvet like flower from my parents' garden. My cousin who lives a stone's throw from the Assistens cemetery accompanied me and we spoke of Jonas and spent some time looking at the photos, poems, flowers and other gifts left by family, friends and people like myself who did not personally know this remarkable young man, but wanted to pay tribute to him.

MURDER CASE UPDATE 2016
Below is the link to an article in the (Copenhagen) University Post

http://universitypost.dk/article/killer-jonas-sekyere-convicted-somalia









Monday, November 12, 2012

Alcoholic Faith Mission: Throw Us To The Wolves + Ask Me This





Alcoholic Faith Mission released their fourth album 'Ask Me This' almost a year ago and have just finished a long string of gigs in Europe and the U.S.

This year the Danish band released five very different videos to accompany tracks off the album.  My two favorites:

'Throw Us to the Wolves' from October is the most recent one; it was directed by Mads Find and features contemporary Danish circus duo Tin Can Company.

'Ask Me This' from April was directed by Matthew Thompson & Oliver Hartman aka NYC based creative production company GuyManly and stars former Broadway and concert stage dancer Sharry Underwood.



www.facebook.com/alcoholicfaithmission

http://alcoholicfaithmission.bandcamp.com/releases

http://alcoholicfaithmission.com/disco/

http://www.tincancompany.dk/

http://guymanly.com










Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mumford & Sons: Lover Of The Light





Mumford & Sons' new video 'Lover of the Light' stars the very gifted British actor Idris Elba as a blind man; the rest is open to interpretation in this mesmerizing clip directed and co-written by Elba.

The London quartet has two shows at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Saturday November 10 and Monday November 12.  They'll be touring the UK, Ireland, and continental Europe between November 21 and April 11, but will squeeze in four U.S. East Coast gigs in February.


http://www.mumfordandsons.com/live/

www.facebook.com/mumfordandsons